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Safaricom registers 1.2 million M-Pesa customers in Ethiopia

By , Kenya Correspondent
09 Nov 2023
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.

M-Pesa, Africa's largest fintech platform, has registered 1.2 million M-Pesa members in Ethiopia since starting the mobile money service two months ago.

On Thursday, the telco confirmed this during the release of its 2023/2024 half year results.

M-PESA went live in Ethiopia on August 16th, after the National Bank of Ethiopia's approval of the licence.

According to analysts, M-Pesa, which is operated jointly by Vodacom Group and Safaricom, is the continent's most successful mobile money platform and has become a vital revenue stream for both telecoms.

The launch was a significant step forward for Safaricom as it strives to extend its service in one of Africa's most populous countries.

Safaricom also disclosed that transaction values have risen to $288 million (Ksh. 43.7 billion) since the company's inception. The service has also been adopted by 23,000 M-Pesa agents and 12,000 businesses.

"This validates what we've been saying about Ethiopia in terms of how it will significantly support our future growth. We intend to maintain this momentum in the second half of the year," said Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.

Safaricom's strategic aim is to enhance financial inclusion and create a cashless economy in Ethiopia.

"We see more opportunities with M-PESA and mobile data, though we are starting from a low base. We are particularly amazed with the levels of mobile data usage. Such levels were only achieved in Kenya after nearly ten years of operations," Ndegwa explained.

Ethiopia, with a population of over 100 million people, is a highly prospective market for M-PESA. The country's main operator, Ethio Telecom, has approximately 50 million subscribers.

Safaricom stated during the release of the results that it had already grown its client base to 4.1 million people and had expanded to 22 cities across the country.

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